Emma Christopher

Scientia Fellow
Scientia Fellow (Level D)

Emma Christopher’s latest book is called Freedom in White and Black and is the story of the only two men shipped to Australia as convicts for the crime of slave trading, and the enslaved men, women and children rescued from them. She previously published Slave Ship Sailors and their Captive Cargoes (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2006) and A Merciless Place (New York / Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011; Sydney: Allen and Unwin, 2010), which won both the Kay Daniels and Ernest Scott prizes. She is the co-editor, with Marcus Rediker and Cassandra Pybus, of Many Middle Passages: Forced Migration and the Making of the Modern World (Berkeley: University of California Press, 2007).

Emma is also a documentary filmmaker and is the director, producer and researcher of They Are We, (New York: Icarus Film, 2014) which won five Best Documentary Awards, featured widely in the media, and was chosen as the United Nations’ Remembrance of Slavery film 2015. It has screened in more than 70 countries around the world. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described the film and Emma’s work as, ‘an inspiration; a victory over slavery’.

She is an anti-slavery campaigner and previously worked at Anti-Slavery Australia at UTS. She has held both four and five year ARC fellowships as well as two other Discovery Grants.

Books
add
Christopher E, 2018, Freedom in White and Black: a lost story of the illegal slave trade and its global legacy, University of Wisconsin Press, Madison, Wisconsin, https://login.wwwproxy1.library.unsw.edu.au/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nlebk&AN=1833696&site=ehost-live&scope=site&ebv=EB&ppid=pp_Cover
2018
Christopher E, 2011, A Merciless Place: The Lost Story of Britain's Convict Disaster in Africa, OUP Oxford
2011
Christopher E, 2011, A Merciless Place The Fate of Britain's Convicts after the American Revolution, Oxford University Press
2011
Christopher E, 2010, A Merciless Place The Lost Story of Britain's Convict Disaster in Africa and How It Led to the Settlement of Australia, Allen & Unwin
2010
Christopher E; Pybus C; Rediker M, 2007, Many Middle Passages: Forced Migration and the Making of the Modern World
2007
Christopher E; Pybus C; Rediker M, 2007, Many Middle Passages Forced Migration and the Making of the Modern World, Univ of California Press
2007
Christopher E, 2006, Slave Ship Sailors and Their Captive Cargoes, 1730-1807, Cambridge University Press
2006
Book Chapters
add
Christopher E, 2016, '‘’Tis enough that we give them liberty’?: Liberated Africans at Sierra Leone in the early era of slave trade suppression’', in Huzzey R; Burroughs R (ed.), The Suppression of the Atlantic Slave Trade British Policies, Practices and Representations of Naval Coercion
2016
Christopher E; Maxwell Stewart H, 2015, 'Alternatives to Botany Bay', in Bashford A; MacIntyre S (ed.), The Cambridge History of Australia: Volume 1, Indigenous and Colonial Australia, Cambridge University Press
2015
Christopher E, 2013, 'From Ireland to Africa: the Criminal Career and Punishment of Patrick Madan’', in Fortin J; Meuwese M (ed.), Atlantic Biographies Individuals and Peoples in the Atlantic World, BRILL
2013
Thompson SM, 2012, 'Introduction', in Thompson S; Maginn P (ed.), Planning Australia: An Overview of Urban and Regional Planning, edn. 2, Cambridge University Press, Melbourne, pp. 1 - 13
2012
Christopher E; Maxwell-Stewart H, 2011, 'Convict transportation in global context, c. 1700–88', in The Cambridge History of Australia, pp. 68 - 90, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CHO9781107445758.007
2011
Christopher E, 2007, '“’The slave trade is merciful compared to [this]’: Slave Traders, Convict Transportation and the Abolitionists”', in Christopher E; Pybus C; Rediker M (ed.), Many Middle Passages Forced Migration and the Making of the Modern World, Univ of California Press
2007
Christopher E; Pybus C; Rediker M, 2007, 'Introduction: Many Middle Passages', in Many Middle Passages Forced Migration and the Making of the Modern World, Univ of California Press
2007
Christopher E, 2006, '‘Steal a Handkerchief, See the World: the trans-oceanic voyaging of Thomas Limpus’', in Lake M; Curthoys A (ed.), Connected Worlds History in Transnational Perspective, ANU E Press
2006
Conference Papers
add
Christopher E, 2016, ''Azotando a un caballo muerto': El debate sobre Herskovits, la trata de esclavos ilegal, y el origen de los Gangá‐Longobá en Cuba” / “Unintentionally Beating a Dead Horse: The Herskovits Debate, the Illegal Slave Trade, and the Origins of Cuba’s Gangá‐Longobá”', Havana, Cuba, presented at EL COMERCIO DE ESCLAVOS A CUBA: NUEVAS PERSPECTIVAS DE INVESTIGACIÓN THE SLAVE TRADE TO CUBA: NEW RESEARCH PERSPECTIVES, Havana, Cuba, 09 June 2016 - 11 June 2016, https://alari.fas.harvard.edu/files/alari_hutchins_center/files/the_slave_trade_to_cuba_el_comercio_de_esclavos_hacia_cuba_jun._9-11_2016_1.pdf
2016
Conference Presentations
add
Christopher E, 2018, 'The Trope of the Ruined Planter and Australia’s Sugar Pioneers', presented at Ending Slavery in the Caribbean and Beginning Settler Colonialism in Australasia, La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC, 14 December 2018
2018
Christopher E, 2018, '"The Coast Swarms with Slave Ships": Slaving Trading and Captives after Abolition', presented at American Historical Association Annual Conference, Washington DC, 04 January 2018 - 07 January 2018, https://aha.confex.com/aha/2018/webprogram/Paper24026.html
2018
Christopher E, 2018, 'When Legacies of 'old' slavery and Methods of resisting 'new' slavery overlap: The Banta of Sierra Leone', presented at Between Slavery and Post-Slavery: Citizenship, Dependence and Abolitionism in African and Indian Ocean Societies, University of Mauritius, 10 April 2018 - 12 April 2018, https://benedettarossicom.files.wordpress.com/2018/04/programme-10-12-april-final.pdf
2018
Journal articles
add
Christopher E, 2020, 'An Illegitimate Offspring: South Sea Islanders, Queensland Sugar, and the Heirs of the British Atlantic Slave Complex', History Workshop Journal, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/hwj/dbaa018
2020
Christopher E, 2019, 'The saviour and the revolutionary: Afro-caribbean responses in a Queensland/new Guinea kidnapping case', Slavery and Abolition, vol. 40, pp. 321 - 340, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/0144039X.2018.1547506
2019
Christopher E, 2016, 'Outlaws of the Atlantic: Sailors, Pirates, and Motley Crews in the Age of Sail', Labor, vol. 13, pp. 154 - 156, http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/15476715-3342821
2016
Christopher E, 2014, 'Behind the Boko Haram headlines, slavery in Africa is the real crisis', The Conversation, https://theconversation.com/behind-the-boko-haram-headlines-slavery-in-africa-is-the-real-crisis-26379
2014
Christopher , 2013, 'Josefa Diago and the Origins of Cuba’s Gangá Traditions', Transition, pp. 133 - 133, http://dx.doi.org/10.2979/transition.111.133
2013
Christopher E, 2013, 'How Cuban Villagers Learned They Descended from Sierra Leone Slaves', The Atlantic Magazine, https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2013/04/how-cuban-villagers-learned-they-descended-from-sierra-leone-slaves/275067/
2013
Christopher E, 2011, 'The murderer and his victim: Tracing a lost convict of the Botany Bay decision', Life Writing, vol. 8, pp. 35 - 49, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14484528.2011.542362
2011
Christopher E, 2010, 'After the bicentenary: The abolition of the transatlantic slave trade in recent history', History Today, vol. 60
2010
Moore D, 2010, 'Colloquy with Marcus Rediker on The Slave Ship: A Human History', ATLANTIC STUDIES-GLOBAL CURRENTS, vol. 7, pp. 5 - 6, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14788810903480995
2010
Christopher E, 2009, '‘From the Ballad Singing Monkey to the Cunning Savages: The Voyage to Found a Penal Colony at the Mouth of the Orange River’', South African Historical Journal
2009
Christopher E, 2009, 'From the 'Ballad-Singing Monkey' to the 'Cunning Savages': The voyage to found a British Colony on the Orange River, 1785-1786'', South African Historical Journal, vol. 61, pp. 750 - 765, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02582470903500400
2009
Christopher E, 2009, 'The Memoirs of Captain Hugh Crow: The Life and Times of a Slave Trade Captain', INTERNATIONAL HISTORY REVIEW, vol. 31, pp. 124 - 126, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000263881400022&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a29b250adbe88d1
2009
Emma Christopher , 2008, 'A “Disgrace to the very Colour”: Perceptions of Blackness and Whiteness in the founding of Sierra Leone and Botany Bay', Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History, vol. 9, http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/cch.0.0025
2008
Christopher E, 2007, 'If We Must Die: Shipboard Insurrections in the Era of the Atlantic Slave Trade', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MARITIME HISTORY, vol. 19, pp. 411 - 412, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/084387140701900160
2007
Christopher E, 2007, 'Slave Ship Sailors: A Roundtable Response', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF MARITIME HISTORY, vol. 19, pp. 333 - 341, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/084387140701900116
2007
Christopher E, 2004, 'Another head of the hydra?', Atlantic Studies, vol. 1, pp. 145 - 157, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/1478881042000278721
2004
Christopher E, 2004, '“’Ten Thousand Times Worse than the Convicts’: Rebellious Sailors, Convict Transportation and the Struggle for Freedom”', Journal of Australian Colonial History, vol. 5, https://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=200412106;res=IELAPA
2004
Christopher E, 2001, 'Black Hands in a Black Trade', Times Higher Education Supplement
2001
Other
add
Christopher E, 2014, They Are We [Feature Documentary]
2014

They Are We:

  • Best Documentary: Sierra Leone National Entertainment Awards, 2017
  • Best Documentary, Miami Documentary Festival, 2014
  • Best Educational Documentary, Bare Bones Film and Music Festival, 2014
  • Best Documentary, Bronze Lens Atlanta, 2014
  • Audience Choice Award, London Latin American Film Festival, 2014
  • Best Foreign Feature Film, nomination, San Diego Black Film Festival, 2014
  • Best Chronicle, nomination, Maverick Movie Awards, 2014

A Merciless Place:

  • Kay Daniels Prize, 2011
  • Ernest Scott Prize, 2011
  • New South Wales Premier’s Prize, shortlisted, 2011
  • Queensland Premier’s Prize, shortlisted, 2011


Humanitarian Award for Anti-Slavery Research in West Africa, University of Minnesota, 2010.

  • Scientia Fellow, UNSW, 2018-2021
  • Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, 2017-19
  • Australian Research Council 5-year Fellowship, 2010-2014
  • Gilder Lehrman Research Fellowship, Yale University, 2010
  • Sawyer Mellon Foundation Grant (joint application)
  • Australian Research Council Discovery Grant, 2008-2010
  • Australian Research Council Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2006-2009
  • Caird Fellow, National Maritime Museum, London, 2004
  • Atlantic World Research Fellowship, Harvard University, 2004
  • Mellon Fellow, Huntington Library, California, 2003
  • Paul Cuffe Memorial Scholarship, Mystic Seaport Museum, Connecticut, 2001-2
  • University of Pennsylvania visiting research position, 2001-2
  • Arts and Humanities Research Board Award, British Academy, 2000

The Transatlantic Slave Trade, Slavery's links to convict transportation and Pacific Islander labour, West Africa, Historical Slavery, Modern Slavery

Christopher E, 2019, “The Amistad Mutineers’ Countrymen: a Rebellious Caribbean Diaspora”, Africana Studies Program Amistad Research Center Cuban and Caribbean Studies Institute History Department, New Orleans, Louisiana, https://events.tulane.edu/content/lecturescreening-emma-christopher-%E2%80%9C-amistad-mutineers%E2%80%99-countrymen-rebellious-caribbean
2019
Subject areas